Action Plan on Public Procurement

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The Commission's Action Plan on Public Procurement sets out a series of initiatives aimed at helping Member States to improve the performance of both administrations and beneficiaries in applying public procurement for EU investments during the 2014-2020 programming period. The Action Plan is prepared and endorsed by all relevant Commission services (DG Regional and Urban Policy, DG Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, DG Agriculture and Rural Development, DG Maritime Affairs and Fisheries) and the European Investment Bank (EIB). It is part of the Commission's comprehensive action to ensure that tax payers' money is spent efficiently and transparently.

Efficient, effective and competitive public procurement is both a touchstone for a well-functioning internal market and an important opportunity for important efficiency and reputation gains in the public sector.

Key actions of the plan include:

  • comprehensive reform plans for countries non-compliant with the public procurement ex-ante conditionality in order to redress structural weaknesses;
  • a stock-taking study on administrative capacity in the field of public procurement with country-specific information and recommendations;
  • a guide to support public officials across the EU to avoid the most frequent errors and adopt best practices - Press Release;
  • piloting  Integrity Pacts - a tool to improve transparency and accountability in public procurement in cooperation with Transparency International - in a number of EU-funded projects,
  • a new index for rating contracting authorities according to their performance;
  • analysis of data and interoperability of public procurement databases,
  • training courses for Managing Authorities of the EU funds or seminars on error rates
  • targeted support to specific Member States and exchange of good practices, e.g. through the Peer 2 peer platform.

All the actions, the relevant actors, outputs and deadlines are summarised in this table.

The "Guidance for practitioners on the avoidance of the most common errors in public procurement of projects funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds" contains practical suggestions, series of good practices, real-life examples, explanations on specific topics, case studies and templates and useful links in order to help those who are involved in the day-to-day management of EU-supported projects.